First Generations Women In Colonial America Summary

Decent Essays
In First Generations Women in Colonial America, Carol Berkin demonstrates the social, political, and economic circumstances that shaped and influenced the lives of women during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the colonies. In exploring these women’s lives and circumstances it becomes clear that geography, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, and other factors less fixed such as war each influenced a woman’s experience differently and to varying degrees. In doing this, Berkin first showcases the life of a specific woman and then transposes that life onto the general historical framework and provides a context in which this woman would have lived. The lives of these women exemplified is also explored and demonstrated through the use of comparison to highlight their different experiences. Moreover, this analysis also seeks to identify the varied sources of these women’s power, albeit for many this power was limited. The analysis is broken up primarily by geography, then by race, and lastly by time and war. While these factors provide the overarching context of analysis, more specific factors are also introduced.
For example, while what separated the white women of the Chesapeake like Mary Cole from white women in New England or the Middle Colonies was mainly geographical location and differing ethnicities and religion, what had the greatest influence over the lives of Chesapeake colonists was death. That “mortality fractured every family relationship” made it a
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